First the problem with the 4163B not erasing the Ritek -RW DVDs:
Now i believe i REALLY must have entered the TZone! I decided to try putting the 4163 back in the P4 (where it was originally, before we bought the H22N) and put it as master. Well, now it would READ the -RW but still not burn them, or erase them. In fact Nero claimed it was not a rewritable disc blah blah blah. Then I ran it alone by removing the LiteOn. Same thing. I then put it back into the P3, where I THOUGHT it worked before (thus my original post) but guess what? It now no longer recognized the -RW disc as rewritable - same problem all over again. It would READ the disc but not burn or erase them. I'm starting to think I'm going stark raving mad. This is the only optical drive on that system.
There is only (3) scenarios that make sense here:
1. I AM in the TZone, or going bonkers.
2. Somehow things have changed and the drive no longer will recognize these -RW discs. Perhaps it was a fluke that it ever did?
3. Somehow, my "Old Timer's Disease" prompted me to actually test the +RW discs (which always worked in this drive) instead of the -RW which I had THOUGHT i was testing. However unlikely, it is POSSIBLE, as the markings are virtually identical except for the tiny + or - symbol. As a Tech, i find now this to be thoroughly EMBARASSING, even to entertain this possiibilty. I now apologise to this incredible Forum for not paying even closer attention to what I was doing.
Second, the H22N producing coasters & burning +RW at 8x:
I put the H22N back into the P4 as Master. Kept original cables and did about 3 or 4 burns with no coasters... YET. The next coaster I get i will change cables to flat ones and go from there. Somehow, it SEEMS better as Master....but time will tell. Also, it now burns +RW @ 8x. Before, it would burn @ 8x but disc was unusable.
Again, I apologise for not paying closer attention to my earlier testing (I had THOUGHT I was, but now, since the drive is not able to burn these -RWs, I wonder if it ever did). Since I don't believe i'm [totally] nuts, and I really don't believe in the TZone, i have to believe that i had goofed and was actually testing the +RW disc at the time it burned. Until I know different, I will conclude that these Ritek -RW discs are INCOMPATIBLE with this drive. Can ANYONE independently confirm this? I need some redemption..
Thats what I get for staying up with no sleep night after night and not supplementing with great quantities of Mountain Dew or Bavarian beer.